FRIHOSTFORUMSSEARCHFAQTOSBLOGSCOMPETITIONS
You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!


Symphonism. My religion-in-progress.






What do you think?
Amazing... I may be a new convert.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Some insightful stuff there, but still needs a lot of work.
25%
 25%  [ 1 ]
Not my thing, but I guess it's as valid as any other religion.
25%
 25%  [ 1 ]
Pretty shaky there. You've gone off the deep end, haven't you?
25%
 25%  [ 1 ]
Completely ridiculous! I hope nobody ever believes this junk!
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Oh yeah? Well MY religion has an invisible pink unicorn AND a flying spaghetti monster!
25%
 25%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 4

ocalhoun
Rather than going hideously off-topic in other threads on this subject, I think I'll finally make a definitive topic about it.
I've been reluctant to do so for quite a while, since I hadn't figured out all of the details yet... But I'm going to go ahead and post about what I've got so far. I've been working on this ever since I rejected some of the major claims of Christianity, trying to build upon what is reasonable and makes sense, until I arrive at a new (and better) comprehensive religious view.
Since this is a work in progress (and likely will be forever), I welcome criticism... Just please, try to keep to constructive criticism. If any specific aspect starts generating a lot of debate, I'll split it off into a new topic, to discuss only that. aspect.

To start it off, these are my "three commandments"
1: Thou shalt not EVER force anyone into Symphonism.
2: Thou shalt not EVER punish anyone for not believing in Symphonism.
3: Thou shalt not EVER use violence in a dispute about Symphonism.
(These are purely precautionary, but I want them to be included in any explanation of it. I don't want to create a monster.)


Now, where to begin in earnest?
...
With the soul, I suppose.
Explaining the Soul
There exists, in some form, a medium that gets imprinted with the patterns of everything in the universe. Space and time are irrelevant to it, except as ways things are arranged.
Everything superimposes patterns upon this... (As an analogy, you could think of it as soft clay that 'real' objects make imprints on.) What makes it different than the objects themselves? A) It is not limited by space and time, and B) It can persist beyond the object's destruction (a corollary of 'A'). C) It can affect and be affected by other objects in this medium, even if those other objects couldn't affect them in everyday reality (also a corollary of 'A').
What does this have to do with a soul though?
An inanimate object like a rock has only one layer of order, and imprints that layer on the rock's 'soul'... But if the rock is broken into pieces, the 'imprint' (or soul) can also be broken into pieces with little loss of order. Something alive (like a plant) though, has two layers of order - the physical, like the rock, but also the pattern of moving life inside it. Stopping that pattern of motion (such as by freezing the plant) results in a loss of that second layer, though the first remains. That pattern gets imprinted on the medium, becoming what we could call the plant's 'soul'. If the plant were broken into pieces, that second layer pattern may yet remain. Yet another layer of order is achieved by anything with a mind (like a dog), and with that additional layer, comes more permanence within the medium -- a more well-defined 'soul'. Intelligent creatures (like humans) take this a step further, building the layer of rational thought upon the layer of the mind. This causes the 'soul' to be very well defined, and very distinct from others around it.
A recap of the layers:
Rock: Exists
Plant: Exists ^ Alive
Dog: Exists ^ Alive ^ Aware
Human: Exists ^ Alive ^ Aware ^ Self-Aware
(You'll notice that in each case, the highest level of order depends on all the levels of order beneath it.)
In any of these cases, the imprinted pattern (AKA soul, spirit, et cetera) can remain in the medium even after the pattern that created it ceases. (Sort of like fossilized wave marks on sand.) The more complex and layered the pattern, the more distinct and permanent the impression.
I also think that when a new pattern begins to emerge, it can fall into the impression made by an old pattern. (Sort of like new waves being affected by the shapes of fossilized wave marks on sand, and being caused to assume a pattern similar to the original one.) This is the basis of reincarnation. I think a new pattern will tend to 'fall into' the most similar imprint available, but if one is not handy, might use a different imprint. (Hence, in some cases, a human could inherit a dog's soul, and the other way around, but only if a more similar soul wasn't readily available/open/empty.)

Using the Soul
Most people fall into a pre-existing pattern (i.e. receive a reincarnated soul). This pattern can affect the newly developing pattern (newborn). Its effects can be carrying over likes, dislikes, and preferences from the old pattern; can be carrying over character traits; can even be carrying over strong memories. How much gets carried over from the old pattern depends on two things:
1: How strongly imprinted the old pattern was. If the previous owner of the soul made an effort to 'reside' (i.e. identify with) his/her soul, then the imprint will be stronger and more distinct -- better able to transfer things to the new pattern.
2: How open the new pattern is to receiving them. Again, 'residing in' the soul will help with this, since the 'echoes' of the soul won't be drowned out by the new pattern (mind and body).
The astounding thing here is that with effort, you could achieve a kind of immortality. If your identity as 'I' resides more in the soul, more if 'I' will be transferred to the next mind and body.
If part of that identity is a strong desire to store more of one's identity in the soul, then it could have a cumulative effect over several lifetimes, each life making the soul stronger and more defined. Who knows how far this could eventually be taken?
There are other uses though...
Sometimes an imprinted pattern can affect other patterns, even after the original pattern that made it is gone. This is basically a soul being active without a mind or body attached. Some of what we call ghosts, angels, spirits, et cetera may be of this nature. I would think that a very strongly imprinted pattern would be more likely to have this kind of behavior than a weekly imprinted pattern.
Other times an imprint that is still connected to the pattern that made it (soul of a living person/thing) can also affect other patterns (and be affected by them). This is the cause behind any legitimate psychic phenomenon.


The Universe
Now, what if we consider the collection of all the different imprinted patterns as a pattern?
This is very legitimate, since all the patterns are imprints on the same substrate... They are all parts of the same whole... And that whole has another layer of order beyond anything we're familiar with. It's what many other religions call God, but I shy away from using that word, since it has too many connotations attached to it already. I'll call it the universal pattern. It doesn't have a gender, isn't modeled after humans (though humans compose a portion of it's model), and is not something you can have a personal relationship with. (Do you have a personal relationship with a tendon in your left foot?) It does have a desire though - it wants to grow, which means more complex patterns -- more layers of order.
The universe we live in is a peculiar thing... many of the 'universal constants' (like the gravitational constant, charge of an electron, et cetera) seem specifically tailored to a universe that can support life (higher layers of order). Even slight variations of these could produce universes with nothing more complex than hydrogen atoms (for example). I don't think this is a coincidence. Somehow, this universal pattern may have been able to steer the early development of the universe towards one to its liking. How it was able to do this, I'm not sure, since at that time there wouldn't be enough of any pattern to make the universal pattern even slightly aware. Perhaps (not being bound by time and space) it was able to do so retroactively, in a causal loop.

The Universal Purpose
So, in that case, what is the purpose of the universe, and everything in it?
I see it as a work of art a masterpiece painting, or a symphony (giving this religion its name)... The universal pattern I mentioned before is both the canvas and viewer, as are we all.
Viewed as a symphony, all the patterns in the universe are like individual musicians in the orchestra. When possible, we should try to make the symphony more harmonious and more complex... But even discordant notes and simplistic sections have their place in a great masterpiece... and this is the greatest of all. Most of the moral principles in this religion are based off of this - that we should strive to make the great symphony better, and avoid making it chaotic and/or boring. Just like an orchestra full of musicians playing the same instrument would be dull and simple, a universe full of similar people would be dull and simple... This is the basis behind the individuality principle (mentioned later).

Morality and Ethics
The moral principles of Symphonism are based on making the 'symphony' more complex and more harmonious.
First, don't needlessly make the symphony less complex... This boils down to, don't kill (or destroy) without need. Don't kill a human, animal, or plant unless you need to in order to survive (or to save others), such as for food or for self defense. Killing for fun, for revenge, out of anger, are all immoral. Likewise with inanimate objects... Smashing a rock may not destroy a whole layer of order, but it does destroy a little order. If you're smashing it in order to make it into concrete and build a bridge, that's great - you're destroying order to make more order - but don't wantonly destroy even inanimate objects... Especially ones with a high degree of order, like an artwork or an interesting building.
Diversity is good; as said above, an orchestra would be dull and simple if composed of all the same instrument. This is one reason why it's so important to find your 'reason to live', and that it be different from other people's. It doesn't have to be absolutely unique - an orchestra can have several musicians on the same instrument, but it shouldn't be the same as everybody else. If everybody was the same, it would reduce the complexity of the universal pattern, which is exactly the opposite of what it desires.
Work together, cooperate. Help those in need, especially if you are helping them in a project that will benefit the Symphony. (Something that creates order, or creates diversity.) Not only does this help the Symphony be more complex, it also makes it more harmonious, just as different groups of musicians within an orchestra create a harmony by working together. Competition can be good, when used as the framework of something that is actually cooperative. (Like the musicians competing at being the best player of their chosen instrument.) For Symphonists, working together has another facet... If another Symphonist comes to you and needs help finding or accomplishing their 'reason to live', you MUST help them, if you can. You shouldn't harm your own reason to live for them, but any help you can give, you should. (For example, if you were a car dealer, and a fellow Symphonist came to you, and told you that his reason to live was car racing, then you should try to help him get a car. You don't have to give him one for free, that would likely hurt your profit a lot, and therefore hurt your reason to live. You SHOULD, however, offer to get him a car at wholesale price, no profit taken out for yourself.) A Symphonist's quest for their reason to live is one of the most important things in the world - treat it as such and help them.
The light: Many people who have gone through a near death experience report seeing 'the light'. They often give it the name of their particular God, but people of all religions (even atheist) tend to describe it similarly. It is usually amazingly bright, but doesn't hurt the 'eyes', sometimes their life flashes before their eyes - with the impression that the light is also watching, it usually 'judges' the mistakes they've made - but it is friendly - and usually expresses bad judgments with an attitude of 'you're still learning', and it usually fills the person with a sense of love and acceptance - despite any bad judgments, sometimes they say the light sent them back to the world of the living - told them it wasn't time yet, though always the light gives people the impression that dying isn't so bad after all - which usually carries over into their life later. I think this light is an expression of the universal pattern, still nudging the universe toward a better work of art -- by letting the more complex patterns see their past mistakes (as mistakes).

A Symphonist's Path
A Symphonist's path is defined by two broad objectives:
1- Strive for more of your identity to reside within your soul.
2- Find, and then pursue, your reason to live.
The two are related, and should be pursued simultaneously.
First, the 'reason to live' needs some explanation. Everyone has a unique reason to live, and it is usually focused on one thing. (Mine is horses.) It is not the accumulation of wealth, not survival, not intoxication, not eating, not sex, not your children, not your friends, not your other family. (These are all biological imperatives - most people have them in common; your reason to live should be unique.) (It's not Symphonism itself either there should be no priests or monks of Symphonism.) You'll likely already know what it is - you may have even inherited it from your soul... It's the one thing you can indulge in all you want and never have 'too much of a good thing' -- never get tired of it. If you don't already know what it is, your temporary 'reason to live' is to find your reason. Look deep inside yourself, experiment with new things, look back into childhood passions...
Once you've found it, recognize that it must take priority over everything. You can still enjoy everything -- I highly recommend it -- but be prepared to sacrifice anything in order to achieve your reason to live. If you ignore your reason to live, your life will be empty and hollow, no matter how many material or emotional comforts you have... But if you pursue it, not only do you give your life purpose and substance, you make the universal pattern more complex; you make the Symphony more interesting.
The other main objective is your identity residing in your soul. Pursuing your reason to live helps with this: it is easier to imprint a passion than to imprint a blank slate. What's the point of imprinting a blank, generic pattern anyway?
To accomplish this is difficult, and it is a life-long task... But worth it for the potential of becoming a several-life-long passion.
The 'self' is composed of three parts (body, mind, spirit), let's start with the easier part, moving one's residence from the body to the mind. Many people spend their whole lives being mostly controlled by bodily wants and needs. Eating, mating, avoiding pain... To conquer the body, you (your spirit) and use the mind as a tool. Practice self-deprivation - not as a lifestyle, but just occasionally, to prove that you can override the body's wants. Occasionally go without a meal when you're hungry, turn down sex when horny, or cause pain intentionally...
The key is knowing that the sensations of the body are just nerve signals interpreted by the mind. That's why it's important to use the mind as a tool. The brain has great adaptability - use it. You can force your brain to interpret, say, pain, as a pleasant sensation. This takes practice, but when perfected is useful in itself, not to mention the progress it makes to your goal. Once you've mastered pain, you can take a similar approach to other bodily needs. When you no longer think of bodily suffering as unpleasant, you know you've won.
(It may help you to know that most bodily desires subside when ignored for long enough, usually just a few hours. You can do it.)
Transferring the self from the mind to the spirit is more difficult, but hopefully your practice with the body should help. One helpful thing is to notice how 'you' used the mind as a tool. If the mind was your tool, who was the wielder? That is partly a function of the soul... and you can build on this. I'm still working on this process as well, and don't know everything about it. I do find that meditation helps, as does attempting to develop and use psychic abilities. (If nothing else, it helps you focus on the spiritual, rather than the intellectual or physical.)


That's pretty much it, and that's the in-a-nutshell version.
My plan -- once I've gotten things a bit more figured out -- is to write a book on the subject, and try to get it published. The book would go into much greater detail, and would provide some examples of evidence that I think points towards my theories here.
Let me know what you think of it, especially if you have any insights on how to improve it.
Bikerman
OK, as a start I'll pick up on this idea of a 'mind'.
If creatures with a mind are qualitatively different (in the 'pattern' they imprint on the medium) then the obvious question is - what is a 'mind'? Is there a distinct cut-off point between group X (entities with a mind) and group Y (entities without a mind) ?
Following on from this - if the medium persists then clearly the imprint made cannot be a single thing - in fact it must be a complete series of 'shapes' which reflect the timeline of the entity as it progresses through space-time.
(Take the example of a person who is born, grows to adult maturity and then suffers an accident which renders them brain-damaged to such an extent they are effectively un-sentient. What 'shape' would their soul be?). The question which follows from this is - what 'shape' would be transferred in reincarnation? The 'shape' of the relatively mindless baby?; the mature adult?; the brain damaged 'end state'?
deanhills
So you want to start your own religion? Cool .....

I'm a little worried about symphonism as the word does not run as easily off the tongue. Is there something that can run more easily off the tongue?

ocalhoun wrote:
This is the basis of reincarnation. I think a new pattern will tend to 'fall into' the most similar imprint available, but if one is not handy, might use a different imprint. (Hence, in some cases, a human could inherit a dog's soul, and the other way around, but only if a more similar soul wasn't readily available/open/empty.)
Sounds a bit complicated to me. Maybe it needs to be simplified a little?
ocalhoun wrote:
Sometimes an imprinted pattern can affect other patterns, even after the original pattern that made it is gone. This is basically a soul being active without a mind or body attached. Some of what we call ghosts, angels, spirits, et cetera may be of this nature. I would think that a very strongly imprinted pattern would be more likely to have this kind of behavior than a weekly imprinted pattern.
Other times an imprint that is still connected to the pattern that made it (soul of a living person/thing) can also affect other patterns (and be affected by them). This is the cause behind any legitimate psychic phenomenon.
I would have liked to see all these patterns being connected with a larger pattern which is a human pattern. I.e. individual patterns of humans relating to the overall pattern of humans such as earth would relate to the planet system. You seem to be moving straight from human individuals to the Universe?
ocalhoun wrote:
I'll call it the universal pattern. It doesn't have a gender, isn't modeled after humans (though humans compose a portion of it's model), and is not something you can have a personal relationship with. (Do you have a personal relationship with a tendon in your left foot?) It does have a desire though - it wants to grow, which means more complex patterns -- more layers of order.
This may be problematic to define as if one cannot have a personal relationship with it and it is so far removed from humans, perhaps it would be almost impossible to make an accurate description of it?

ocalhoun wrote:
Just like an orchestra full of musicians playing the same instrument would be dull and simple, a universe full of similar people would be dull and simple... This is the basis behind the individuality principle (mentioned later).
I like this. Almost similar to one of your recent posting in another thread saying that people need to connect up with their own uniqueness and practice to its fullest extent. If everyone gets to do that it can only move everyone forward.
Dialogist
It seems like a noble and inspirational philosophy but it doesn't really sound like a religion to me much at all. There's two main properties missing that most religions have and you're going to be sorely lacking in both when the time comes and it will come, should you go to print.

First of all, you're going to need to qualify this as a religion rather than just a belief or philosophy because at the minute, it's just yoga. To class it as a religion you're going to need some kind of faith/struggle/enlightment type of journey. I see you have abstinence and that is wonderful but who or what is it for? Self? We'll get to that later.

There's no communication here. Eponymously, I must prescribe dialogue. You must have supreme interaction. All the major religions do. They have deities for this. I'm not saying specifically that a religion needs one (maybe it does?) but it does need the compassion relating to the sentience, penance and supervision of one. At the end of the day, it needs to answer to and serve something. This is achieved through dialogue. The worship of self is called Narcissism and we have institutes for people who talk to themselves already, and we furnish those with padded walls.

Secondly, after you've classed this as a religion you're going to need to defend it against people who automatically distrust any religion (under the "cult" impression) and when your religion is going to need funds, which, with the necessary failing of mankind permitting, it should and will definitely need, people will become even more suspicious and distrusting. The best defense against this opposition is actual altruism and benevolence - What your religion does for others, as well as self and how it helps and does right by many people. This is important, not only in justifying it, but also in 'recruiting' (encouraging others to share in its benefits rather than gaining strength in numbers) and instilling a feeling of *embetterment in followers. Nobody would give to charity if it hurt their ego/concience as much as their pocket.

The second point is perhaps the most important here. I say this because like Buddhism, which your religion likens most to at this point; Symphonism, although equally as noble and respectable, seems to be wrought with Omphaloskepsis. My only quarrel with both is this misled belief of self-centered progression. I fear humility does suffer in acquisition of humility. In my opinion, a true religion gives not to its religion or self via religion but uses its religion to give to others to give to self. A lot of people spend their religious lifetimes looking within. "The answer is within". Really?

Quote:

The word 'You': This is an easy give-away that your post is in danger of making personal insults or flaming... If you see the word 'you' in a post you are writing, please consider removing that portion, and focus on writing about the topic being discussed, instead of the people discussing it.


That's you referring to "you" to in a negative context in the sticky thread I read recently. This religion in this thread is you (Me, me, and me) being referred to in positive context. Yet both are negative to me (and hopefully you too). You did ask for peoples thoughts/insights? These are mine so that they may be yours too.

It needs to do more for non-Symphonists in order to evaluate its purpose, longevity and attraction and it needs to communicate and preferably dispose itself to a higher power than itself otherwise it has a danger of becoming either a) hedonistic and self serving, or worst of all b) completely futile and useless.

I do like the principals but just question its depth and also the three commandments leave a lot of room for interpretation. They let you kill people etc. They maybe seem a little mad at other commandments/religions in tone and reason for being? When formulating a new religion, you'd have my complete support, if you keep the good stuff already in place and just ignore the bad stuff. Have you seen that movie the Matrix? It takes the top 4 religions and keeps all the best stuff. Asides from popular culture, there's a world of historic research and practical experiment already done on your behalf, some worked, some didn't. They are easy to differentiate between so why start with a clean slate? Just cross out the stuff that's no longer relevant. Keep: faith, altruism, love. Axe: Fear, guilt, zealousness. What a great religion?

*Embetterment is a word which George Bush invented and I have since grown to love it and have enlisted it in my own personal dictionary. Why? Because it has no synonym. See? Everyone can give something to the world. I voted for #2.
Bluedoll
You (oh, brave colt) are defining in your religion, a realm that is not physical nor intellectual when you say something within your religion will help focus on the spiritual. Do you then need to understand this realm for yourself or anyone that follows you in your religion before you proceed? Failure to understand the spiritual aspects could lead to confusion? Who will manage this realm concerning this religion?

I am making an assumption that your religion at some point will be a social ‘something’ (as a published book could be considered a social exchange) and not merely just an exercise of your personal thoughts.
A question for you, is when a person becomes a follower of Symphonism by agreeing and learning about these works and then goes in a slightly different direction than you, what happens? You personally choose to shy away from the word God using universal pattern instead. I for example might accept Symphonism but be attracted to the God as creator of the universal pattern. What then? What changes?


a) Symphonism?
b) My relationship with Symphonism or you or both?
c) Your relationship with me because of my modified or amended directive?


Symphonism is spiritually active? (in which case in connection with?????? – and needs to be defined for Symphonism)
deanhills
Maybe Dialogist has a point. And that made me immediately think about how Mormonism started. You have to convince people of your credibility first as an individual who has special knowledge that can inspire and change people for the better. Maybe you had a special revelation on top of a mountain that made your hair go all white and you then fasted for 40 days. Next thing you have followers, and then you introduce them to your book ..... No one would even dream to review the book, as of course this book came from you, and all that is being asked is for people to follow the rules, so that they can get some special rewards from the following of the rules, like you had. Before you know it, you have to publish large numbers of copies. The book should not be too perfect, as of course you want people to need you to explain texts to them as much as you can. There would be study groups and teaching sessions so that people can be educated as to the meanings of all the texts and how they can apply all of those rules to their lives for maximum benefits.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
OK, as a start I'll pick up on this idea of a 'mind'.
If creatures with a mind are qualitatively different (in the 'pattern' they imprint on the medium) then the obvious question is - what is a 'mind'? Is there a distinct cut-off point between group X (entities with a mind) and group Y (entities without a mind) ?

It's true, the layers aren't exactly clear cut. (Particularly the boundary between 'aware' and 'self-aware'.)
Mainly, it depends on the patterns-within patterns, layers of complexity.
A good way to define the difference between mind and non-mind would be, would the object lose any complexity if it were brain-dead (or equivalent), but still alive?
Or, you could describe the 'layers' in epiphenomenon terms...
Life is an epiphenomenon of existence, awareness is an epiphenomenon of life, and so on.
Bikerman wrote:

Following on from this - if the medium persists then clearly the imprint made cannot be a single thing - in fact it must be a complete series of 'shapes' which reflect the timeline of the entity as it progresses through space-time.

Yep.
Bikerman wrote:

(Take the example of a person who is born, grows to adult maturity and then suffers an accident which renders them brain-damaged to such an extent they are effectively un-sentient. What 'shape' would their soul be?). The question which follows from this is - what 'shape' would be transferred in reincarnation? The 'shape' of the relatively mindless baby?; the mature adult?; the brain damaged 'end state'?

In this example, the 'layers' come in handy. The layers of imprinting caused by the sentient mind could be mostly unaffected, despite changes in the lower layers. I think there would definitely be some 'residue' of the brain-damage on the soul, but the un-sentient part would not have enough 'layers' to affect what was laid down during the sentient part much.
How could I analogize this point?
Suppose the medium is an old-style audio record. The person recording patterns on it is the recording needle scratching patterns on the record. The needle is oddly shaped, and inscribes patterns at multiple depths into the record/medium. But, part-way through recording, the tip of the needle breaks. Since the needle stays at the same height, it can no longer record information at the depths it used to - it can change the shallower depths, but the original deep-depth recordings stay untouched.

(I'm sure you're curious about what this 'medium' is... The answer is, I'm not sure. It could be a separate dimension(s), it could be a kind of energy/gravity-like field that hasn't been discovered yet, et cetera... I don't think science has discovered it yet, but I think science could discover it and prove its existence... Especially if things like psychic abilities were investigated and eventually understood. You know how one particle in a pair of related particles could collapse the waveform of the other instantly, no matter the distance away? I have a hunch that this 'medium' is the explanation of how that happens, though it might be unrelated. - because what's important in this medium is the relationships/connections between things, not the distances of space and time.)
deanhills wrote:

I'm a little worried about symphonism as the word does not run as easily off the tongue. Is there something that can run more easily off the tongue?

Well, I like that name since it is representative and isn't already taken by anything (that I know of)...
But if you have any better suggestions, I'd like to hear them.
deanhills wrote:

ocalhoun wrote:
This is the basis of reincarnation. I think a new pattern will tend to 'fall into' the most similar imprint available, but if one is not handy, might use a different imprint. (Hence, in some cases, a human could inherit a dog's soul, and the other way around, but only if a more similar soul wasn't readily available/open/empty.)
Sounds a bit complicated to me. Maybe it needs to be simplified a little?

Think of 'the medium' like an ancient monastery, where monks followed the same routine for so long, they wore indentations into the floor.
If the monks all vanished, visitors might naturally tend to still walk in those indentations without meaning to...

Or like a stream that cuts a valley into the land, but then dries up. If a new stream started flowing in the same area, it would gravitate towards flowing through the same valley the old one did... If there wasn't any stream-cut valley for the new stream to follow, it might still follow a wind-carved canyon, or a valley caused by the land folding. But, it would be most likely to follow a stream-cut valley if one was available... And if there were no valley to follow at all, it would eventually carve it's own brand-new valley as it flowed.

I think it mostly sounds complicated because I go to convoluted efforts to avoid using terms that already have too many meanings attached to them.
deanhills wrote:

I would have liked to see all these patterns being connected with a larger pattern which is a human pattern. I.e. individual patterns of humans relating to the overall pattern of humans such as earth would relate to the planet system. You seem to be moving straight from human individuals to the Universe?

Well, you can look at the pattern of all humans combined if you want to, but I don't think it is significant...
If each human's pattern was a brick in a building, the pattern of all humans put together would be just one wall on the building.
You might notice interesting things looking at just the one wall, but I don't think the single wall has significance that the building it's a part of doesn't.
(Alternately, if one human was a tendon in a foot, all humans put together might be a leg -- still only significant as a part of the whole body.)

(The collective of all humans is a pattern in itself, but that whole pattern is also just a part of the universal pattern.)
Remember, the universal pattern encompasses the whole universe... and humans -- even the entire Earth -- are just small parts of that universe.
A significant part, perhaps, depending on how rare intelligent life is, but still just one part.
deanhills wrote:

This may be problematic to define as if one cannot have a personal relationship with it and it is so far removed from humans, perhaps it would be almost impossible to make an accurate description of it?

It's not that you can't try to personally relate to it, it's just that I don't think it will reciprocate. It would be like you having a personal relationship with one of your own brain cells.
The best one could accomplish, I think, is to gain an awareness of one's part within the whole -- how you fit together with everything else in the universe.
deanhills wrote:

ocalhoun wrote:
Just like an orchestra full of musicians playing the same instrument would be dull and simple, a universe full of similar people would be dull and simple... This is the basis behind the individuality principle (mentioned later).
I like this. Almost similar to one of your recent posting in another thread saying that people need to connect up with their own uniqueness and practice to its fullest extent. If everyone gets to do that it can only move everyone forward.

It is likely very similar to a recent post... The reason I made this post is to avoid thread-jacking another topic on this subject. This being my religious/philosophical view, parts of it factor into my discussions about philosophical or religious topics.

Dialogist wrote:
It seems like a noble and inspirational philosophy but it doesn't really sound like a religion to me much at all. There's two main properties missing that most religions have and you're going to be sorely lacking in both when the time comes and it will come, should you go to print.

It isn't necessarily a religion like the ones that exist now.
You're right on the mark that it sounds more like a philosophy; it's kind of half-way between both.
Dialogist wrote:

First of all, you're going to need to qualify this as a religion rather than just a belief or philosophy because at the minute, it's just yoga. To class it as a religion you're going to need some kind of faith/struggle/enlightment type of journey.

Well, there's the struggle to imprint yourself more in your spirit, and the struggle to be unique and have something worth imprinting...
Dialogist wrote:
I see you have abstinence and that is wonderful but who or what is it for? Self? We'll get to that later.

Well, you might have misunderstood that about absinence...
It really only means that you should place things in a lower priority than your reason to live. As long as they don't get in the way of your purpose, I highly encourage enjoying hedonistic pleasures.
Why try to be reincarnated into life after life if you don't take the time to enjoy those lives?
The most lasting and fulfilling enjoyment comes from your reason to live... but other sources of enjoyment are still worthwhile as well.
Dialogist wrote:

There's no communication here. Eponymously, I must prescribe dialogue. You must have supreme interaction.

Why must it have this?
It's not a storyline, it's a belief system.
Dialogist wrote:
All the major religions do. They have deities for this.

Well, mine doesn't. Depending on how you look at the 'universal pattern', you could even call it an atheistic religion. (NOT an oxymoron.)
Dialogist wrote:
I'm not saying specifically that a religion needs one (maybe it does?) but it does need the compassion relating to the sentience, penance and supervision of one. At the end of the day, it needs to answer to and serve something.

What is served is the quality of the universe as a whole.
The universe is viewed as a work of art, and you serve it by making it better and more interesting.
(And in return, besides other things, you get to enjoy a better and more interesting artwork, since you are also a viewer of this art. -- You view it by experiencing the universe around you.)
Quote:
This is achieved through dialogue. The worship of self is called Narcissism and we have institutes for people who talk to themselves already, and we furnish those with padded walls.

Much of it is done for the benefit of self, but I wouldn't call it self-worship.
There's not really much of a worship element to it at all... not in the sense of praising anything.
You work for the improvement of both yourself and the universe... but the closest thing that comes to actual worship is the hedonistic reveling in how wonderful the universe is.
(To get a sense of 'reveling in how wonderful the universe is', read Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. It provides a good example of this kind of attitude.)
Dialogist wrote:

Secondly, after you've classed this as a religion you're going to need to defend it against people who automatically distrust any religion (under the "cult" impression)

I don't need to defend it... I'm only sharing it as a kind of a public service... if lots of people believe it, that's nice, and if nobody believes it, that's nice too. I'm sharing it for the benefit of others - if they don't want it, they don't need to accept it.

I would only be particularly concerned about defending it if the followers of it were being persecuted somehow.
Dialogist wrote:
and when your religion is going to need funds,

Whatever for?
I don't envision this religion having church services, or engaging in charity as a group.
At most it would just be a collection of people who believe similar things, and if they want to talk to each other about it, they could do so anywhere, anytime.
There wouldn't be any official leaders... no priests, no monks... at most, just people who've been in it for a long time helping newbies with their questions when they happen to meet.
If I do publish a book on the subject, I'll refuse to take any profit from its sale. The publisher and bookstore will want their cut, but I don't need this religion to turn a profit. I would also make the copyright public-domain, so anybody who wanted to could print it.
(And I also intend to make an exact copy of the book available online for free.)
Dialogist wrote:
Nobody would give to charity if it hurt their ego/concience as much as their pocket.

If anybody did donate money for the religion, I would either use it for self-publishing and spreading the message, or use it for some charities that encouraged the same things the religion encourages - individuality, creativity, harmony, et cetera.
Dialogist wrote:

The second point is perhaps the most important here. I say this because like Buddhism, which your religion likens most to at this point; Symphonism, although equally as noble and respectable, seems to be wrought with Omphaloskepsis. My only quarrel with both is this misled belief of self-centered progression. I fear humility does suffer in acquisition of humility. In my opinion, a true religion gives not to its religion or self via religion but uses its religion to give to others to give to self. A lot of people spend their religious lifetimes looking within. "The answer is within". Really?

?
I don't understand what you're getting at here.
Dialogist wrote:

It needs to do more for non-Symphonists in order to evaluate its purpose, longevity and attraction and it needs to communicate and preferably dispose itself to a higher power than itself otherwise it has a danger of becoming either a) hedonistic and self serving, or worst of all b) completely futile and useless.

Well, it is partly hedonistic and self-serving... Though not completely futile and useless, because through (certain types) of hedonism and self-serving, you can make the universe a better place.
Dialogist wrote:

I do like the principals but just question its depth and also the three commandments leave a lot of room for interpretation. They let you kill people etc. They maybe seem a little mad at other commandments/religions in tone and reason for being?

Quite so. The only reason they exist is to prevent Symphonism from ever committing the atrocities of past religions. (Like the Spanish inquisition, or like fundamentalist Muslims killing infidels.)
I'm a bit of a pessimist, so I think these things could still happen, but at least, if those three commandments are still included, people could point out the abuses and how they go against those commandments...
Dialogist wrote:
When formulating a new religion, you'd have my complete support, if you keep the good stuff already in place and just ignore the bad stuff. Have you seen that movie the Matrix? It takes the top 4 religions and keeps all the best stuff. Asides from popular culture, there's a world of historic research and practical experiment already done on your behalf, some worked, some didn't. They are easy to differentiate between so why start with a clean slate? Just cross out the stuff that's no longer relevant. Keep: faith, altruism, love. Axe: Fear, guilt, zealousness. What a great religion?

I have borrowed from a wide variety of sources.
The idea of the universe being an artwork, for example, I got from reading Nietzsche. He also wrote a lot of things I disagree with, but that concept in particular was useful.
I've actually been formulating this for years... and during much of that time reading books from various philosophers and religions, taking various tidbits that I liked from all sorts of places.
(When looking at the hedonist part, think of Walt Whitman's poetry/philosophy, and it makes a bit more sense. The reincarnation idea comes mainly from Eastern religions, while the theory behind it owes a bit to the mystic's tradition.)



Bluedoll wrote:
You (oh, brave colt)

*whinny*
*happy/excited prance*
Sorry, it just brings me joy to be compared to a horse.
Bluedoll wrote:
are defining in your religion, a realm that is not physical nor intellectual when you say something within your religion will help focus on the spiritual. Do you then need to understand this realm for yourself or anyone that follows you in your religion before you proceed? Failure to understand the spiritual aspects could lead to confusion? Who will manage this realm concerning this religion?

I've made my best effort to understand, but I don't claim full understanding.
Unlike some other religions, I don't want to just start making stuff up when I find something I don't understand... I'll give my opinion on it, if I have one, but for much of this, the theory is just based on questionable evidence, reasoning, and what 'feels right'.
Bluedoll wrote:

I am making an assumption that your religion at some point will be a social ‘something’ (as a published book could be considered a social exchange) and not merely just an exercise of your personal thoughts.

I would be happy if it was, but it doesn't have to be.
Think of sharing it as a charity... Like giving food to hungry people.
I'll make it available to them - it would be stingy not to... but if they don't want to eat it, that's their choice -- it doesn't hurt me.
Bluedoll wrote:

A question for you, is when a person becomes a follower of Symphonism by agreeing and learning about these works and then goes in a slightly different direction than you, what happens? You personally choose to shy away from the word God using universal pattern instead. I for example might accept Symphonism but be attracted to the God as creator of the universal pattern. What then? What changes?
a) Symphonism?
b) My relationship with Symphonism or you or both?
c) Your relationship with me because of my modified or amended directive?

Nothing needs to change... I'm sharing this to help you - if you want to change it to help you even better, go ahead. If it becomes truly popular I wouldn't be surprised (or offended) if there was a group that changed it to fit each religion... there could be Christian Symphonists, Muslim Symphonists, Atheist Symphonists, Buddhist Symphonists, et cetera.

The only thing I would have a problem with is if somebody made something completely different/opposite, and also called it Symphonism... and then only because it would confuse the people I'm trying to help.
Bluedoll wrote:

Symphonism is spiritually active? (in which case in connection with?????? – and needs to be defined for Symphonism)

What does 'spiritually active' mean?


deanhills wrote:
Maybe Dialogist has a point. And that made me immediately think about how Mormonism started. You have to convince people of your credibility first as an individual who has special knowledge that can inspire and change people for the better. Maybe you had a special revelation on top of a mountain that made your hair go all white and you then fasted for 40 days. Next thing you have followers, and then you introduce them to your book .....

That's horrible.
I'm sharing it to help people, not to deceive people.
I want people to believe it because it is reasonable, not because they were tricked by some kind of 'miracle'.
deanhills wrote:
No one would even dream to review the book, as of course this book came from you, and all that is being asked is for people to follow the rules, so that they can get some special rewards from the following of the rules, like you had. Before you know it, you have to publish large numbers of copies. The book should not be too perfect, as of course you want people to need you to explain texts to them as much as you can. There would be study groups and teaching sessions so that people can be educated as to the meanings of all the texts and how they can apply all of those rules to their lives for maximum benefits.

Like I said earlier, I don't want to profit from the book. The only reason I would want large numbers to be printed is so that large numbers of people could read it and potentially be helped.



Sorry about the loooooooooooong post there, everybody... But it was kinda necessary in order to give replies to everybody.
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
(I'm sure you're curious about what this 'medium' is... The answer is, I'm not sure. It could be a separate dimension(s), it could be a kind of energy/gravity-like field that hasn't been discovered yet, et cetera... I don't think science has discovered it yet, but I think science could discover it and prove its existence... Especially if things like psychic abilities were investigated and eventually understood. You know how one particle in a pair of related particles could collapse the waveform of the other instantly, no matter the distance away? I have a hunch that this 'medium' is the explanation of how that happens, though it might be unrelated. - because what's important in this medium is the relationships/connections between things, not the distances of space and time.)
I'm trying to be good and not challenge fundamentals but you are making it hard - Psychic 'ability' has been the subject of SO MUCH research it took me 10 minutes just to download the list of academic papers from my academic feed - 32 thousand of them.
Entanglement is a mystery, to be sure, BUT some reality needs to be injected at this point because, like most mysteries, we do actually know quite a lot of things that aren't the solution.You are proposing what is known tecnically as a hidden variable solution to quantum mechanics (ie there is some hidden connection between particles that accounts for the collapse of the entangled state).
What we know for pretty much certain is that it cannot be local. I'll not sidetrack this into a technical discussion of what that means and why we know it is true, but think about this. If your 'medium' is able to store information about the things 'in it' then it must be intrinsically static (ie, in the absence of other 'stuff' it doesn't do anything - it just 'is'). If it interacted dynamically then any pattern would be fleeting, and the dynamics of the 'medium' would distort and eventually swamp any stored pattern. Agreed?
So therefore it cannot offer a solution to quantum entanglement since it does not offer a mechanism for the two particles to interact - any more than existing spacetime does. We can regard spacetime as a simple example of your medium. It is distorted in a predictable and (usually) stable manner by the presence of mass. It is 'static' on the macro scale of existence but dynamic at the sub-atomic scale (in that it probably possesses an intrinsic energy just by virtue of existing - dark energy).

I suppose the main question is - do you want your religion to be completely rational (ie to not be based on things which we are pretty sure cannot be)? You can certainly appeal to things we do not yet know, but there are some things which we know are not possible. I don't know what (or if anything) can account for entanglement in a deterministic way (my own feeling is that nothing can because it simply isn't that type of thing) but I do know many things which it cannot be. it cannot, for example, be any form of electromagnetic interaction, just like it cannot be an exchange of small ping-pong balls.
Alternatively you may wish to introduce an element of faith and posit that it is indeed an exchange of ping pong balls but they are special ping pong balls that vanish when anyone looks at them.
(I'm not trying to ridicule here, just picking the absurd to illustrate the general point).
If you don't want an element of irrationality then I'm forced to wonder why you call it a religion? It would surely be better called science fiction or even fringe science...?
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
I'm trying to be good and not challenge fundamentals but you are making it hard - Psychic 'ability' has been the subject of SO MUCH research it took me 10 minutes just to download the list of academic papers from my academic feed - 32 thousand of them.

Oh, I'm well aware of how you view the psychic... and that this view is shared by most of the scientific community.
I still give credence to what I've experienced first-hand though.
Quote:

Entanglement is a mystery, to be sure, BUT some reality needs to be injected at this point because, like most mysteries, we do actually know quite a lot of things that aren't the solution.You are proposing what is known tecnically as a hidden variable solution to quantum mechanics (ie there is some hidden connection between particles that accounts for the collapse of the entangled state).
What we know for pretty much certain is that it cannot be local. I'll not sidetrack this into a technical discussion of what that means and why we know it is true, but think about this. If your 'medium' is able to store information about the things 'in it' then it must be intrinsically static (ie, in the absence of other 'stuff' it doesn't do anything - it just 'is'). If it interacted dynamically then any pattern would be fleeting, and the dynamics of the 'medium' would distort and eventually swamp any stored pattern. Agreed?

Well, I'm not sure about the static nature of it... I may have over-emphasized that in previous posts. My best guess is that it does change -- even on it's own -- but (at least usually) does so relatively slowly.
(So a stored pattern would eventually fade away, if it wasn't repeatedly used by new patterns.)
Quote:

So therefore it cannot offer a solution to quantum entanglement since it does not offer a mechanism for the two particles to interact - any more than existing spacetime does.

Well, I'm thinking that things like distance and time -- the dimensions we're familiar with -- don't properly exist in that framework. Things there are defined not by their locations, but by their relationships with other things.
(Kind of like a flowchart vs. a spreadsheet. The flowchart is defined by what is connected to what, and the nature of the connections. The spreadsheet is defined by what is where.
In a spreadsheet, cell B:17 is always a set distance from cell H:5... but in the flowchart boxes B:17 and H:5 might be effectively right next to each other, if they are connected by some sort of relationship.)

Quote:

I suppose the main question is - do you want your religion to be completely rational (ie to not be based on things which we are pretty sure cannot be)? You can certainly appeal to things we do not yet know, but there are some things which we know are not possible. I don't know what (or if anything) can account for entanglement in a deterministic way (my own feeling is that nothing can because it simply isn't that type of thing) but I do know many things which it cannot be.

Well, my main intention is to develop a comprehensive belief system that satisfies these demands:
-Self-consistent
-Based as much as possible on evidence* and reason (minimizing use of blind faith)
-Explains some of the stranger things I've seen and heard of
-Answers some of the 'big questions', like 'what happens when you die?' and 'what's the point of life?'

*evidence also includes first-hand experience... and in the case of things like 'what happens when you die?' also based on what seemed the most credible of all options, based on the limited evidence available.

(Atheism was an option... It is pretty good at the first two requirements, but not as good at the second two.)
Quote:

If you don't want an element of irrationality then I'm forced to wonder why you call it a religion? It would surely be better called science fiction or even fringe science...?

Like I admitted to Diologist earlier, 'religion' may not be an entirely appropriate label for it. Some parts of it are more of a philosophy, while other parts are more of a fringe science, like you mentioned.
All bundled up as a whole, though, I think 'religion' describes it the best.
Dialogist
ocalhoun wrote:

The idea of the universe being an artwork, for example, I got from reading Nietzsche. He also wrote a lot of things I disagree with, but that concept in particular was useful.
I've actually been formulating this for years... and during much of that time reading books from various philosophers and religions, taking various tidbits that I liked from all sorts of places.
(When looking at the hedonist part, think of Walt Whitman's poetry/philosophy, and it makes a bit more sense. The reincarnation idea comes mainly from Eastern religions, while the theory behind it owes a bit to the mystic's tradition.)


I think you'd be better off reading more about Puritanism then, or perhaps even Epicureanism - which bothers me greatly because although he sticks in my craw really badly, I can't express why and although I know deep down inside why, and it's immediately obvious to me when I read it, I haven't found the words yet without writing an aimless ramble digressing back and fourth (perhaps like this one). But I'll find the words one day and I'll get old Epicurus. And I'll get 'em good! He's a slippery customer who evasively creates cleared passage fire-doors for himself with every statement. I don't like that. I like a man to die on his feet, right or wrong.

I did note some Nietzsche influence here and maybe some Oscar Wilde too. Ironic how we champion those who ruined themselves by practicing what they preach isn't it? Like we place them on some messianic pedestal and attribute martyrdom "died for our sins" ideologies to people who just became the living/dying blueprint of proving themselves wrong. I for one can never see how studying great philosophy can ever play an important role in your religion. It seeks to do what hedonism itself does. Go in pursuit of something that lessens with every inch of ground made. The abstinence of pain is somewhat of a cop-out. It's pursuit of pleasure, just call it what it is. Pain has its reasons, pleasure has no opinion, right? The powerful man, ruined by power, the rich man, ruined by money, the submissive man ruined by subservience, the pleasure seeker by pleasure. Wilde by wine, women and song, Nietzsche by thinking himself into that same padded cell I alluded to earlier. It's not a question of excess. It's a question of boundless pleasure that answers to nothing. It's a deadly sin, according to Gandhi. Three times the philosopher of both men combined (in my humble opinion) who - by the way, also practiced what he preached and came out the other end as an inspiration, rather than a sad tragic case of the loss of yet another brilliant mind to egotism.

I think Benjamin Franklin said it best when he said, "Many a man thinks he is buying pleasure, when he is really selling himself to it." The complete self is defined by element in a man's inertia. Like miserable drunks, for example. Why so sad? Girl on her 18th Birthday or hen night, why so happy? Because indulgence when you're already happy increases it, and indulgence because you are miserable does too. The hangover, if you aren't already convinced, is that even happy people become miserable with too much happiness.

Quote:
?
I don't understand what you're getting at here.


The answer is not within, it's outside, in your actions towards others. Think of the soul. "The eyes are the window to the soul" ect etc blah blah. We always presume it to be inside of us. I disagree. I think its anywhere but, and this supports religious theory that it doesn't die with your materia. The very first condition of lasting happiness is that a life should be full of purpose, aiming at something outside of the self. All I'm suggesting is that 'it's great that you're pure, divine, holy and without sin, but the less privileged doesn't think so because they need you more than anyone and you're busy grooming yourself into your own likeness'. You're a useless deity. An ornament.

This is why I said consult other religions and tap some of their knowledge of sentience, fallibility and humility first. All will warn against Hedonistic pursuits and all the best philosophers will too (the ones that celebrate their disposition, died of it, or maybe that's just coincidental). Christianity, Hinduism, Islamic writings, Buddhism ect (and ignore the antiquities) Proverbs 21:17, for example, may even throw you a neat little "He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man." an entire debunking of Symphonism's 'religious' relevance, in 9 words! Again, like Gandhi, boasting its only excess in simplistic economic truth.

He too, like you, challenged religion. He often rewrote famous Biblical passages to try to 'improve' them and often arguably succeeded (via truth and goodwill - not opposition), but he understood that he needed them to work with in speaking religiously and in order to be taken seriously. "An eye for an eye - makes the whole world blind" etc, is an example of drawing reference, but then improving upon it. Here's another of his, which is basically all I'm warning you against with, should you set one foot down that hedonistic path (and as we know, one foot is never just one)...

Gandhi wrote:

The 7 Deadly Sins are:

Wealth without work
Pleasure without conscience
Knowledge without character
Business without morality
Science without humanity
Worship without sacrifice
Politics without principle


Agree? The basis of entire new religion? I would join. Which leads me to my final point:

Quote:

I don't envision this religion having church services, or engaging in charity as a group.
At most it would just be a collection of people who believe similar things, and if they want to talk to each other about it, they could do so anywhere, anytime.
There wouldn't be any official leaders... no priests, no monks... at most, just people who've been in it for a long time helping newbies with their questions when they happen to meet.
If I do publish a book on the subject, I'll refuse to take any profit from its sale. The publisher and bookstore will want their cut, but I don't need this religion to turn a profit. I would also make the copyright public-domain, so anybody who wanted to could print it.
(And I also intend to make an exact copy of the book available online for free.)


It all seems very idealistic. And not entirely realistic to be honest. Especially when followed up by the acknowledgment of:

Quote:

I would only be particularly concerned about defending it if the followers of it were being persecuted somehow.


You seem to limit its value by how much you'd like to do with it. What about 2000 years from now, when it has spread its message to every major continent and has become a staple of modern culture and philosophical morality? Don't you want it to get 'that big'? Surely you'd have enough faith in your own religion to believe it is the best thing for everyone? Or that its even capable of becoming so? Who writes a book they couldn't care less about? And what's this:

Quote:

if nobody believes it, that's nice too.


? Is it a website? A clothing brand? A music album? A brand of pizza? Or a religion? Before you reiterate that its about freedom or choice, its passive and non agenda, etc, please remember 2000 year from now, people will be flying commercial airliners (or space shuttles or hover boards or whatever) in buildings to protect its truth. And people will be executed for preaching it under alternative power. You may not be around to defend them on your website. If its worthy of being a "religion", unfortunately, money, greed, evil and zealousness will happen. Evolution be damned. If it's worthy of being a force of Good, it'll be even twice as big as that! Paradox? My point here is not the fault of religious texts, not the fault of the zealousness of man, nor the fault of your religion lacking in depth, it's just a case of your attitude to it. As it's 'high priest' who doesn't want to be one. It's almost like you're stood at a yard sale or flea market. "Religions! Come and get 'em. 10 bucks for two!" You really need to wisen up about what you're (not) selling here. Scientology started from a piece of harmless sci-fiction by L Ron Hubbard too. Now its like the CIA. If its any good, it'll need money. It's any good at all, it'll need entire populations to make much more valuable that you'd ever dreamed of. There's a lot of responsibility in that, which is why you also need several more commandments. I'd make the first one: "This is just a joke. Never take this seriously unless you want to preempt the apocalypse."

As I said before, I'm not criticizing what it does have (I do love the natural/universal/mother nature/ soul at one with consciousness of it all - the best part of Buddhism, I don't like the selfish inward contemplation of it all - the worst part of Buddhism) I'm criticizing what it doesn't have at this point. I would start with humility and acknowledgment of fallibility and then move on to altruism and goodwill. Then I'd iron out the reincarnation part before anyone noticed that I'd said that. But still, its a nice nod to Hinduism and I love reference to colorful things so it would be a project in progress.

There's a lot of horse**** in this thread (of course I'm referring to the two avatars and colt references) Very Happy
ocalhoun
Dialogist wrote:

I think you'd be better off reading more about Puritanism then, or perhaps even Epicureanism - which bothers me greatly because although he sticks in my craw really badly, I can't express why and although I know deep down inside why, and it's immediately obvious to me when I read it, I haven't found the words yet without writing an aimless ramble digressing back and fourth (perhaps like this one).

Perhaps what 'sticks in your craw' is that it doesn't preach self-sacrifice?
Quote:

But I'll find the words one day and I'll get old Epicurus. And I'll get 'em good! He's a slippery customer who evasively creates cleared passage fire-doors for himself with every statement. I don't like that. I like a man to die on his feet, right or wrong.

Well, good luck with your Epicurus-hunting.
If you're wondering why my writing there seems to have 'fire doors' everywhere, it's because I didn't want to have many faith-only positions, especially not any that could easily be disproven. Doing so does leave things a little vague sometimes though.
Quote:

I for one can never see how studying great philosophy can ever play an important role in your religion. It seeks to do what hedonism itself does. Go in pursuit of something that lessens with every inch of ground made.

That's the point of the 'reason to live'.
It's my theory that every person has (at least) one thing that doesn't lessen the more it is pursued... though many haven't found theirs yet.
That's one reason why it's so important to find your personal reason to live.
Quote:
The abstinence of pain is somewhat of a cop-out. It's pursuit of pleasure, just call it what it is.

Of course it is. It helps life be more enjoyable.
Despite what other religions might tell you, there's nothing sacred about pain and suffering; no reason why you should go through it if you don't need to.
Quote:
Pain has its reasons,

Yes, it does. A great symphony can make good use of discordant notes, and a master's painting can make use of ugly brush-strokes.
You can never remove all pain from the universe -- it serves its purpose, if nothing else, to make pleasure seem better by comparison -- but that doesn't mean you should seek it out, nor does it mean that you should suffer stolidly through it without seeking relief.
Quote:
pleasure has no opinion, right?

Pleasure does have an opinion. (And a much better one than pain!)
Quote:
The powerful man, ruined by power, the rich man, ruined by money, the submissive man ruined by subservience, the pleasure seeker by pleasure.

But the one who dedicates his life to his personal reason to live will not be ruined.
He will have a purpose to life, enjoying the good things, enduring the bad things, but always pursuing the best thing.
Quote:
It's not a question of excess. It's a question of boundless pleasure that answers to nothing.

It doesn't answer to anything: there's nothing to answer to.
It is NOT boundless though. It's bound by the fact that -- given the choice between raw pleasure and pursuit of one's reason to live -- one should choose the reason to live.
Choosing immediate pleasure over one's reason to live will lead to the kinds of fates you mentioned.
Quote:
It's a deadly sin, according to Gandhi.

Gandhi may be wise, but he doesn't know everything (neither do I).
Quote:

I think Benjamin Franklin said it best when he said, "Many a man thinks he is buying pleasure, when he is really selling himself to it." The complete self is defined by element in a man's inertia. Like miserable drunks, for example. Why so sad? Girl on her 18th Birthday or hen night, why so happy? Because indulgence when you're already happy increases it, and indulgence because you are miserable does too. The hangover, if you aren't already convinced, is that even happy people become miserable with too much happiness.

Well, for one thing pleasure =/= drunkenness.
Personally, I don't find being drunk pleasurable at all, and don't partake in it.
The examples you mentioned may be in different states at the moment, but unless they connect with their purpose, they'll both be miserable eventually (as you pointed out).
Quote:

The answer is not within, it's outside, in your actions towards others. Think of the soul. "The eyes are the window to the soul" ect etc blah blah. We always presume it to be inside of us. I disagree. I think its anywhere but, and this supports religious theory that it doesn't die with your materia.

Well, you may see the soul being outside of yourself... and this may be valid.
One of the main points in this religion is to have the soul become yourself. Then it would be meaningless to discuss weather it is inside or outside of yourself.
Quote:
The very first condition of lasting happiness is that a life should be full of purpose, aiming at something outside of the self.

And that's what a person's reason to live is all about! It's the only thing that can bring lasting happiness. (And legitimate purpose)
Quote:
All I'm suggesting is that 'it's great that you're pure, divine, holy and without sin, but the less privileged doesn't think so because they need you more than anyone and you're busy grooming yourself into your own likeness'.

Well, you'll notice I didn't have much to say about sin, or charity either.
Mainly just, 'try to live in harmony with others'.
If you want to help others who need help that's great. I don't see why it should be a major part of this religion though.
Quote:
You're a useless deity. An ornament.

I'm no more a deity than that drunk in the street you mentioned earlier.
I doubt that's what you meant, but another thing I don't want this religion to do is make a god of me. (Nor a prophet either - I'm just a regular Joe who sat down and thought about things for a while.)
Quote:

This is why I said consult other religions and tap some of their knowledge of sentience, fallibility and humility first. All will warn against Hedonistic pursuits and all the best philosophers will too (the ones that celebrate their disposition, died of it, or maybe that's just coincidental).

I'll warn about hedonistic pursuits as well:
Don't let random hedonistic pleasures distract you from your reason to live! If you do, it will just make you miserable in the end.
The best way is to just enjoy them when they happen to be along the path to your reason to live, and ignore them when they are off the path, or blocking the path.
Quote:
Christianity, Hinduism, Islamic writings, Buddhism ect (and ignore the antiquities) Proverbs 21:17, for example, may even throw you a neat little "He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man." an entire debunking of Symphonism's 'religious' relevance, in 9 words!

Better to enjoy life and die poor, than to have a miserable life and die rich.
Quote:

He [Gandhi] too, like you, challenged religion. He often rewrote famous Biblical passages to try to 'improve' them and often arguably succeeded (via truth and goodwill - not opposition), but he understood that he needed them to work with in speaking religiously and in order to be taken seriously. "An eye for an eye - makes the whole world blind" etc, is an example of drawing reference, but then improving upon it.

And that much we have in common. It's a very good idea to draw ideas from your predecessors, but a very bad idea to rely on them for all your ideas.
Quote:
Here's another of his, which is basically all I'm warning you against with, should you set one foot down that hedonistic path (and as we know, one foot is never just one)...

Again, following the hedonistic path isn't the point, and I would advise against it.
I advise one to follow the path to one's reason to live... And if that path and the hedonistic path are the same for a while, follow both. But when they branch off, follow the path to your reason to live, not the hedonistic path.
Quote:

Gandhi wrote:

The 7 Deadly Sins are:

Wealth without work
(There's nothing evil about wealth of any sort, and nothing sacred about work for the sake of work. If you have wealth (regardless of how you got it) use it to accomplish your reason to live, and use it to help others do so. If you need to work to accomplish your reason to live, do it, but don't let work prevent you from doing it either.)
Pleasure without conscience
(Why should anyone feel guilty about honestly-gotten pleasure? As long as you don't hurt anyone getting it, it's yours to enjoy. -- again, don't let it get in the way of your reason to live though.)
Knowledge without character
(This one I disagree with entirely. Both knowledge and character are very good to have -- regardless of the presence or absence of the other.)
Business without morality
(Okay, yes, it's bad when businesses act immorally. Not really relevant to anything here though.)
Science without humanity
(Have animals started doing science, or have scientist-aliens invaded? If not, I don't see why this should be a problem.)
Worship without sacrifice
(That's fine. My religion demands neither.)
Politics without principle
(Another that I agree with, but isn't very relevant.)


My comments in ().
Quote:

Quote:

I don't envision this religion having church services, or engaging in charity as a group.
At most it would just be a collection of people who believe similar things, and if they want to talk to each other about it, they could do so anywhere, anytime.
There wouldn't be any official leaders... no priests, no monks... at most, just people who've been in it for a long time helping newbies with their questions when they happen to meet.
If I do publish a book on the subject, I'll refuse to take any profit from its sale. The publisher and bookstore will want their cut, but I don't need this religion to turn a profit. I would also make the copyright public-domain, so anybody who wanted to could print it.
(And I also intend to make an exact copy of the book available online for free.)


It all seems very idealistic.

It is idealistic. I'm an idealistic person. (Though the differences between the ideal and the real sometimes make me cynical.)
Quote:
And not entirely realistic to be honest. Especially when followed up by the acknowledgment of:

Quote:

I would only be particularly concerned about defending it if the followers of it were being persecuted somehow.


Why is that not realistic?
I see no need to defend ideas. Good ideas will stand, no matter how they are attacked; bad ideas will fall no matter how much you defend them.
I would only be concerned about defending people, if that became necessary.
Quote:

You seem to limit its value by how much you'd like to do with it. What about 2000 years from now, when it has spread its message to every major continent and has become a staple of modern culture and philosophical morality? Don't you want it to get 'that big'?

I would be happy if it got that big... and I would be nearly just as happy if it didn't.
Remember - this is my personal philosophy. It's what I believe. I'm only sharing it because it would be a shame to keep it to myself if it could help others.
If nobody else thinks that it would help them, then there's no reason to share it.
Quote:
Surely you'd have enough faith in your own religion to believe it is the best thing for everyone?

I do think it would be best for everyone... But they might not.
And since I'm not 105% sure about everything in it, I have no reason to force it on them if they disagree.
Quote:
Or that its even capable of becoming so? Who writes a book they couldn't care less about?

I think it is capable of becoming big, though it will have a hard time struggling against the more 'pushy' religions.
As for who writes a book they don't care about, I do.
The point is that it is made available for people, it doesn't matter if they use it or not, just that they could if they wanted to.
By making it available, I've done my part, the rest is up to them.
Quote:
And what's this:
Quote:

if nobody believes it, that's nice too.

Like I said earlier, it's just my personal religion. I share it with others because I think others deserve the opportunity to benefit from it.
If they don't take the opportunity, that's their business, not mine.
Quote:

? Is it a website? A clothing brand? A music album? A brand of pizza? Or a religion?

Maybe none of the above, depending on how you define that last one.
Quote:
Before you reiterate that its about freedom or choice, its passive and non agenda, etc, please remember 2000 year from now, people will be flying commercial airliners (or space shuttles or hover boards or whatever) in buildings to protect its truth. And people will be executed for preaching it under alternative power.

I certainly hope not. That's exactly the kinds of things the 'three commandments' are meant to prevent.
I'd rather keep it a secret than to have people use my words as justification for horrific acts.
Quote:
You may not be around to defend them on your website. If its worthy of being a "religion", unfortunately, money, greed, evil and zealousness will happen.

Sadly, this is so. Hopefully the 'three commandments', the inherent peacefulness, and the lack of any directives to kill infidels will subdue any efforts to use Symphonism for evil.
Quote:
Evolution be damned. If it's worthy of being a force of Good, it'll be even twice as big as that! Paradox?

Huh?
I'm presuming that 'it' refers to Symphonism, but what will it be twice as big as?
And why would that be a paradox?
Quote:
My point here is not the fault of religious texts, not the fault of the zealousness of man, nor the fault of your religion lacking in depth, it's just a case of your attitude to it. As it's 'high priest' who doesn't want to be one. It's almost like you're stood at a yard sale or flea market. "Religions! Come and get 'em. 10 bucks for two!" You really need to wisen up about what you're (not) selling here.

More like an old man sitting on a park bench. If someone stops by and asks, I'll share my wisdom (such as it is), and if nobody stops by and asks, I'll just sit and enjoy the view and the warm sun.
Quote:
Scientology started from a piece of harmless sci-fiction by L Ron Hubbard too. Now its like the CIA.

And I would point it out as an example of what I don't want Symphonism to be like.
Quote:
If its any good, it'll need money.

If it had money, what would it spend the money on?
Quote:
It's any good at all, it'll need entire populations to make much more valuable that you'd ever dreamed of.

What does Symphonism need entire populations for?
Its only purposes are to help people and make the universe more beautiful and interesting.
Entire populations could be helped, perhaps... Or maybe only a few people would be helped.
The more people it helps, the better, but even helping only one person is still good.
Quote:
There's a lot of responsibility in that, which is why you also need several more commandments.

Hm, perhaps. I have thought of adding one about not punishing a believer who fails somehow, but that sort of falls under #2 already.
Quote:
I'd make the first one: "This is just a joke. Never take this seriously unless you want to preempt the apocalypse."

If its only a joke, why bother at all?
And I think that Symphonism is (potentially) a lot more peaceful than most of the religions we have around now. The world would be better off with it than without it.
Quote:

As I said before, I'm not criticizing what it does have (I do love the natural/universal/mother nature/ soul at one with consciousness of it all - the best part of Buddhism, I don't like the selfish inward contemplation of it all - the worst part of Buddhism) I'm criticizing what it doesn't have at this point. I would start with humility and acknowledgment of fallibility and then move on to altruism and goodwill.

Well, altruism and goodwill are sort of included within the 'live harmoniously' directive... Though I suppose that could stand to be emphasized a bit more.
I do think people should be humble and recognize their fallibility, but I don't see why this needs to be part of this religion. For one thing, it doesn't seem to reasonably follow from any of the other points - nothing in the religion implies that people are fallible, or that they should be humble.
Quote:
Then I'd iron out the reincarnation part before anyone noticed that I'd said that.

Trying to hide something?
This is about exposing ideas, not hiding them.
Quote:
But still, its a nice nod to Hinduism and I love reference to colorful things so it would be a project in progress.

Nice to know you've found something good in it. I hope others will also.
And yes, it is a project in progress... and it might be forever.
It will be 'in progress' as long as there are parts of it I (or we) are not sure about... And since some of the things discussed are very hard to prove/disprove, eliminating that doubt could take a very long time.
Quote:

There's a lot of horse**** in this thread (of course I'm referring to the two avatars and colt references) :D

I like a lot of horses in a thread. (It's my reason to live, don't ya know?)
(What are the ****'s for? You didn't get censored as far as I can tell... and no inappropriate words I know seem to fit the context.)
Dialogist
ocalhoun wrote:
Perhaps what 'sticks in your craw' is that it doesn't preach self-sacrifice?


No, it's much deeper than that. There's an inherent evil in his words that runs right down to the core and its deceitful sleight of hand does not have me fooled, nor has its legerdemain of purposeful duality. Like I say, I haven't found the words for him yet. But I do intend to and its very important to me because he's resting his laurels on unaccountability and dropping grapes into his throat via assumed rationality and I have made an appointment. I wasn't comparing you to he, just trying to advise against his teachings, which you would probably be referred to for research by pedants, if this was some kind of college thesis. I will say this though; He reminds me of the 'new big thing' who has just become the latest fame/pop sensation without any talent, work, trial or tribulation, and is stood amongst us, arms aloft proclaiming, "No autographs!". Oh, I'm a getcha.


ocalhoun wrote:
That's the point of the 'reason to live'.
It's my theory that every person has (at least) one thing that doesn't lessen the more it is pursued... though many haven't found theirs yet.
That's one reason why it's so important to find your personal reason to live.


So perhaps a commandment about "Your reason for life must considered noble or non harmful to yourself or others"? would add some congruity?

ocalhoun wrote:

Despite what other religions might tell you, there's nothing sacred about pain and suffering; no reason why you should go through it if you don't need to.


What about the argument that I, Franklin and Gandhi all made about overcoming pain being the only pleasure? "No pain, no..."? If your philosophy is just "No pain (period)" then that's unrealistic too. You're born into a painful world full of expectations and inhibitions. "Yes but I seek to change that"... or something? No sale. How about idealistically, there's no pain whatsoever. Would you not need to create a little to differentiate pleasure from? You really want pleasure to be banal, mediocre, trite and not pleasure anymore? Read: "Boredom".

ocalhoun wrote:

You can never remove all pain from the universe -- it serves its purpose, if nothing else, to make pleasure seem better by comparison -- but that doesn't mean you should seek it out, nor does it mean that you should suffer stolidly through it without seeking relief.


So we agree on that, but we don't agree on appreciating pain as part of your pleasure. Perhaps we should? And that the premiss of 'seeking out pain' is not being advised here but the acknowledgement and even humility of pain motivation is adversity x human = enrichment?

ocalhoun wrote:

Pleasure does have an opinion. (And a much better one than pain!)


I really disagree wholeheartedly. I think pleasure tells you nothing about yourself. It's merely an escapism into la la land. It doesn't help you grow or mature and it does not build character. It builds appetite. And appetite breeds indulgence. And indulgence breeds excess and excess breedss death. The only positive opinion here, is that death then breeds mourning, sorrow, regret and eventually "warning". This is the only useful opinion that pleasure can throw across this table to us at this point.

ocalhoun wrote:

But the one who dedicates his life to his personal reason to live will not be ruined.
He will have a purpose to life, enjoying the good things, enduring the bad things, but always pursuing the best thing.


So again, my reason for life is debauchery. It makes me smile the few times I get the chance to do it. I get to have lots of sex, inebriation and escapism from the real world. I would like to dedicate my extremely short life to Cocaine too. That's my purpose. I will enjoy the class A drugs and I will endure the cost, legality, stealing, lying and cheating and ever decreasing health in order to get them. I will always pursue this. For about 4 years anyway. Then my family shall pursue my hearse and sue you blind!

ocalhoun wrote:

It doesn't answer to anything: there's nothing to answer to.


See above. That's just one example of interested follower twisting your words. It happens you know? Only I didn't exactly twist anything. I just worked with what was presented. I chose a reason for life and naturally, being a human, I chose a fun one. It ruined me. I could choose lesser more legal ones, that would ruin me slowly and morbidly?

ocalhoun wrote:

It is NOT boundless though. It's bound by the fact that -- given the choice between raw pleasure and pursuit of one's reason to live -- one should choose the reason to live.


It still sounds a lot like "Chose a reason to die" to me. But obviously, I'm reading 'what I can get away with' at this point, as any human being reading a rule or authoritative guideline would. Like for example, I didn't covet my neighbor's wife which is a shame because I had to pay the fare. She lives blocks away. Also this choosing the reason to live still stays firmly within "Me-ism" and I doubt this is the best directive for human kind as a whole. We already have that. It's called capitalism, and although it has been proven to work (for those with a silver spoon in their mouths) it is ugly as hell and I could never imagine it being taken seriously as a moralistic religion.

ocalhoun wrote:

And that's what a person's reason to live is all about! It's the only thing that can bring lasting happiness. (And legitimate purpose)


But Ocalhounism doesn't make a lot of time for other people's needs and emergencies. It even prescribes personal pleasure over social conscience.

ocalhoun wrote:

Well, you'll notice I didn't have much to say about sin, or charity either.
Mainly just, 'try to live in harmony with others'.
If you want to help others who need help that's great. I don't see why it should be a major part of this religion though.


Short arms and deep pockets? You could peel an orange in your pocket with a boxing glove on. Quit being so tight-fisted and throw a couple of old shirts in the Unicef bag like everyone else. Its your duty as a creator of a religion to use your people influence to encourage providing sustenance for the well being of others. And although I'm not a very charitable person myself, as a human, I'd have a hard time following a religion that wasn't interested in humanitarianism.

ocalhoun wrote:

I'm just a regular Joe who sat down and thought about things for a while.



So was L Ron Hubbard. Mark Chapman shot John Lennon because of something he misinterpreted from The Catcher In The Rye. A bunch of kids here killed themselves because they played Judas Priest records backwards. I've lost count of the amount people burned alive for translating the Bible. I don't know which verse in the Qur'an that jihad advises killing infidels. Your words, should they be brilliant, no longer belong to you. You can take exception to that and say it's not your fault. Agreed, however, acknowledge the responsibility of forming a religion. And acknowledge that your following will be a bit bigger (depending on its quality) than you imagine. And with greater size comes greater capacity for error. You say you don't want any governing body, priests, authority or state etc ("Pushy" people) but who's going to be around to say "Eh.. no!" when your follower will more than definitely abscond? Like popes, priests, clerics, imams, rabbis and so on, who are constantly criticized by people who never followed anyway, yet seem to take umbrance to them instructing those who do? You need these spiritual police I'm afraid. Your religion and its free thinking followers (and those on the outside affected by its belief system) do too. By the way, I'm not an "apologist" and I ceremonially practice no particular religion. I just feel I'm not in the position to apologize to people who should apologize for thinking I should apologize either.

ocalhoun wrote:

I'll warn about hedonistic pursuits as well:
Don't let random hedonistic pleasures distract you from your reason to live! If you do, it will just make you miserable in the end.
The best way is to just enjoy them when they happen to be along the path to your reason to live, and ignore them when they are off the path, or blocking the path.


This is great news.

ocalhoun wrote:

Better to enjoy life and die poor, than to have a miserable life and die rich.


That proverbs quote wasn't about monetary gain. Here in lies the problem. "Rich" doesn't equal "capital wealth". Often quite the opposite. "The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least" etc etc. Should fit in with your Symphonism somewhere along the lines?

ocalhoun wrote:

I advise one to follow the path to one's reason to live... And if that path and the hedonistic path are the same for a while, follow both. But when they branch off, follow the path to your reason to live, not the hedonistic path.


I think the temporary pursuit of everyone following their hedonistic lifetime could be really damaging really quickly and if it didn't sour the more insightful of your followers against you immediately, it would kill the rest who arguably don't have enough bread upstairs to know better. The religion of "Me" is worrying. I see it everyday and I find it frightening but I've never considered it a religion, no matter how religiously some people adhere to it.

ocalhoun wrote:

Wealth without work
(There's nothing evil about wealth of any sort, and nothing sacred about work for the sake of work. If you have wealth (regardless of how you got it) use it to accomplish your reason to live, and use it to help others do so. If you need to work to accomplish your reason to live, do it, but don't let work prevent you from doing it either.)


It's warning against greed and entitlement. It's prescribing earning the right to comfort/luxury so that you may appreciate what you've earned. "Hey, that meal was delicious! You are a culinary genius. I love a man who can cook". Thanks (I got it out of a packet) - is the same welcome compliment you would have received had you made it from scratch. And taking pleasure from that without conscience (as below) is not good.

ocalhoun wrote:

Pleasure without conscience
(Why should anyone feel guilty about honestly-gotten pleasure? As long as you don't hurt anyone getting it, it's yours to enjoy. -- again, don't let it get in the way of your reason to live though.)


Because you're sat there on Christmas day stuffing your face with nochos and tipping back a few and dipping your hand in the candy and laughing and joking and some starving Africans come on the TV with Bob Geldof or somebody (I'm not saying you, but anyone) and you don't feel a little... something's amiss? That's the conscience asking your pleasure (just for a second) if its having a really great time or not (hopefully!).

ocalhoun wrote:

Knowledge without character
(This one I disagree with entirely. Both knowledge and character are very good to have -- regardless of the presence or absence of the other.)


Anyone can read about anything. That doesn't make him knowledgeable about it. It makes him researched about it. This is why the guy who has worked at 10 major advertising agencies will get the job ahead of the kid straight out of college with good grades in it. Doing is knowing. Alternatively, a man can know everything there is to know, but if it doesn't build or shape his character for the better, what's he learned? We have the internet for unbiased neutral impersonal knowledge and it doesn't make a man smart because he can copy and paste it, now does it? Anyone can do that. And it would require a distinct lack of character to do only that trying trick people into believing you have both attributes. Sometimes "I don't know why, I am sorry but I will check" exhibits both knowledge and character. In the truest more honest way.

ocalhoun wrote:

Business without morality
(Okay, yes, it's bad when businesses act immorally. Not really relevant to anything here though.)


Well it relevant...

Quote:
I think others deserve the opportunity to benefit from it. If they don't take the opportunity, that's their business, not mine.


You're starting a religion. Business is inevitable. Big business. And not just corporate wealth (which would be very difficult to abstain from) but also the business of mass philosophy. The business of progression, growth and evolving ideas. Big massive business. Perhaps the biggest there is. When all is said and said. Apple Computers will fade and die. Religion will still be here.

ocalhoun wrote:

Science without humanity
(Have animals started doing science, or have scientist-aliens invaded? If not, I don't see why this should be a problem.)


I believe the time he wrote that he was concerned about Frankenstein science (cloning, "playing god" etc) but its no less relevant to the digital age if you choose to view everyone hooked into channel zero or the internet matrix. Not ironic that I should be typing this to you on here at all, it's merely just appropriate. He's probably also suggesting that great scientists need faith and hope and love and spirituality to achieve their goals as most other people do. "It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." - Einstein crediting his humanity over the humanity of lesser scientists. Also, from an entirely mechanical, robotic, scientific point of view, we still need to make antibiotics and medicines to agree with the human body. Also, scientists, like regular flesh and blood organic humans, are just flesh and blood organic humans. Knowing gandhi, he was more likely suggesting that "Your nuclear bomb was how smart exactly?"

ocalhoun wrote:

Worship without sacrifice
(That's fine. My religion demands neither.)


It requires sacrifice of humility in following a personal life meaning to worship thyself at the cost of life having any meaning at this point. I do believe I've already said this too much already though. But it needs to register (in my opinion). It's an extremely unassailable and therefore dangerous teaching.

ocalhoun wrote:

Politics without principle
(Another that I agree with, but isn't very relevant.)


You wrote your three commandments from a political disposition towards the 10 commandments of Christianity. It may have a personal principal to you but it lacks principal overall if its the basis to form a new religion from. It should have much more to offer than opposition.

ocalhoun wrote:

I don't envision this religion having church services, or engaging in charity as a group.
At most it would just be a collection of people who believe similar things, and if they want to talk to each other about it, they could do so anywhere, anytime.
There wouldn't be any official leaders... no priests, no monks... at most, just people who've been in it for a long time helping newbies with their questions when they happen to meet.
If I do publish a book on the subject, I'll refuse to take any profit from its sale. The publisher and bookstore will want their cut, but I don't need this religion to turn a profit.


That's good stuff. As said, you'll need a corrective authority eventually (especially with human kind) but I admire the selflessness of the approach here.

ocalhoun wrote:

I would also make the copyright public-domain, so anybody who wanted to could print it.
(And I also intend to make an exact copy of the book available online for free.)


Nooooooo! This is not coming from a philosophical, theoretical or religion point of view. It's coming from the "Knowledge/Character" one. I roughly work this line of things and this is something that professionally, you never ever want to do. It's not about not making a profit selflessly. It's about being savvy. It's about you waking up one day and suddenly owing a billion dollars to Fox News Corps. If you write something of value, make it yours legally by all means necessary. Proceeds to charity, or whatever. Just don't hang yourself from the nice-guy noose or let others string you up by it either.

ocalhoun wrote:

Why is that not realistic? I see no need to defend ideas.


I'm saying you may need to defend those ideas to its most ardent supporters, which have, to quote Kipling, been "Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools". Your biggest liability, from what I see in all major religions is not those who oppose you. It's those who believe they are acting as your agent.

ocalhoun wrote:

I would be happy if it got that big... and I would be nearly just as happy if it didn't.
Remember - this is my personal philosophy. It's what I believe. I'm only sharing it because it would be a shame to keep it to myself if it could help others.
If nobody else thinks that it would help them, then there's no reason to share it.


And I'm not criticizing that, I'm merely just attempting to offer some helpful pointers like you asked for at the top of the thread. I'm not really one for starting new religions personally, but should you go ahead with it, I'd be a fool to not see that it was done with me at least trying to instill some merit to it (from my own point of view). Yes its your brainchild, but requests of insights are what they are.

ocalhoun wrote:

As for who writes a book they don't care about, I do.


Okay, this one goes on the "reincarnation" pile. I'm pretty sure.

ocalhoun wrote:

I'm presuming that 'it' refers to Symphonism, but what will it be twice as big as? And why would that be a paradox?


Because you not caring is the same paradox as you really caring. Which is another paradox because if you want your religion to be big it'll be harmful (in some respects) and if you want it to be really big, it'll be even more harmful (in a lot more respects) and the supreme paradox is; the better your religion is, the worse it shall become. Like your hedonism, perhaps. Only different, in that people will be killing themselves and others in order to protect it's righteousness. If you're not cool with that, just don't make it any good. The final paradox is that if you don't make serious on purpose, it'll achieve cult status like Jedism. You can't win. Just call it a philosophy and you'll never have any blood on your hands.

ocalhoun wrote:

If it had money, what would it spend the money on?

What does Symphonism need entire populations for?


Oh, I thought you starting a religion. Sorry.


ocalhoun wrote:

And I think that Symphonism is (potentially) a lot more peaceful than most of the religions we have around now. The world would be better off with it than without it.


Well if it was to replace all the major religions, we wouldn't have a lot of peace. They'd be an uprising from a lot of places not receiving aid from Christians, the muslims would target you for taking away their promised land and the jews would cut off your dinner money. The Buddhists would sue for uploading their doctrines in the public domain and the Hindus would be gunning for you for rebirthing their reincarnation into brain damaged dogs. If you really think the world needs a religion that its author 'couldn't really care less about' or 'isn't "105%" sure about', or doesn't care if anyone follows it, or does nothing for others, or bases its value on conceited self appraisal and personal gain, then I'd have to disagree (at this point).

ocalhoun wrote:

nothing in the religion implies that people are fallible, or that they should be humble.


^^^^
ocalhoun wrote:

Trying to hide something?


No, if I died in a past life then my soul would naturally carry on to another's. Symphoneyism supports that.

ocalhoun wrote:

Nice to know you've found something good in it. I hope others will also.


I found a lot more than being attracted to bright colors that I didn't give you credit for. And I do use debating language and points to pick at the bad parts but you asked for insights and thoughts and it would be shame to just agree with the stuff I do like. A wasted opportunity. But I do like the self help aspect of in a 12 step program sort of a way (would probably do well on amazon if you gave it a sensational title, but gain some bad reviews from former addicts who you sent back on the path of demise, maybe). What it lacks in the external, it does make ways towards appreciating it for oneself (which I believe is its most powerful impetus) but the question of "then what?" still arises. Both physically and metaphysically. Do we just continue eternally being reincarnated in path seekers? I can only beat a video once, then I want to see the cloudy restful mecca of the completion screen. If you answer nothing here, just answer that. This is pretty futile existence, just getting sent back to level one again. I know it has no God but of hourse it dangles no carrots either. What if your reason for life is horses and then you get reincarnated into your horse and your horse into you and both have prior recollection of your former selves? What's your life's purpose then? Other than "Get me out of this thing! It's tripping me out!"

ocalhoun wrote:

(What are the ****'s for? You didn't get censored as far as I can tell... and no inappropriate words I know seem to fit the context.)


Horse [radi]sh. They censored my "sh" part completely. I think they thought I was going to say a naughty word.
ocalhoun
Dialogist wrote:

So perhaps a commandment about "Your reason for life must considered noble or non harmful to yourself or others"? would add some congruity?

Well, everything you do should be non-harmful to others. (Harmoniously, remember)
As for requiring it to be 'noble', what for? It should be what's most important to you, be it noble or not. Putting too many restrictions will cause people to choose things other than what they should, and then they will be miserable - for achieving it would be hollow.
Quote:

ocalhoun wrote:

Despite what other religions might tell you, there's nothing sacred about pain and suffering; no reason why you should go through it if you don't need to.


What about the argument that I, Franklin and Gandhi all made about overcoming pain being the only pleasure? "No pain, no..."? If your philosophy is just "No pain (period)"

More like changing it from "no pain, no gain"
To, "pain (among other things) is gain."
Quote:
then that's unrealistic too. You're born into a painful world full of expectations and inhibitions. "Yes but I seek to change that"... or something? No sale. How about idealistically, there's no pain whatsoever.

Jumping all around, aren't we? Asking about both realistic and idealistic cases at nearly the same time...
Realistically, there will be pain and suffering, but if you make an effort at it, you can even enjoy that too.
Idealistically, there still might be some, but only when you want it.
Quote:
Would you not need to create a little to differentiate pleasure from? You really want pleasure to be banal, mediocre, trite and not pleasure anymore? Read: "Boredom".

Again, that's what the 'reason to live' is about. It doesn't get boring. (And it doesn't require a counterexample to be seen as pleasurable.)
Quote:

and even humility of pain motivation is adversity x human = enrichment?

purpose x human = enrichment.
Adversity without purpose will make people miserable even quicker than pleasure without purpose.
Quote:

I really disagree wholeheartedly. I think pleasure tells you nothing about yourself. It's merely an escapism into la la land.

That's where you're wrong.
(And if your only idea of pleasure is escapism, then I pity you.)
I advocate taking pleasure in reality, enjoying what is. NOT escaping into 'la la land' to illusory pleasures.
Quote:
It doesn't help you grow or mature and it does not build character. It builds appetite. And appetite breeds indulgence. And indulgence breeds excess and excess breedss death.

Unchecked, yes it does.
Good thing Symphonism includes a purpose that overrides such over-indulgence.
Quote:
The only positive opinion here, is that death then breeds mourning, sorrow, regret and eventually "warning". This is the only useful opinion that pleasure can throw across this table to us at this point.

If death, mourning, sorrow, regret, and warning are your ideas of 'positive', I'd hate to see what your ideas of negative are!
Quote:

ocalhoun wrote:

But the one who dedicates his life to his personal reason to live will not be ruined.
He will have a purpose to life, enjoying the good things, enduring the bad things, but always pursuing the best thing.


So again, my reason for life is debauchery. It makes me smile the few times I get the chance to do it. I get to have lots of sex, inebriation and escapism from the real world. I would like to dedicate my extremely short life to Cocaine too. That's my purpose. I will enjoy the class A drugs and I will endure the cost, legality, stealing, lying and cheating and ever decreasing health in order to get them. I will always pursue this. For about 4 years anyway. Then my family shall pursue my hearse and sue you blind!

*sigh*
Cocaine is NOT a valid 'reason to live'. It is a distraction from it.

If I may be so bold as to quote myself on the subject:
Quote:

It is not the accumulation of wealth, not survival, not intoxication, not eating, not sex, not your children, not your friends, not your other family.

I think that pretty much covers it.
Quote:

ocalhoun wrote:

It doesn't answer to anything: there's nothing to answer to.


See above. That's just one example of interested follower twisting your words. It happens you know? Only I didn't exactly twist anything. I just worked with what was presented.

And conveniently ignored part of it. (Now bolded for easier reference.)
Quote:
I chose a reason for life and naturally, being a human, I chose a fun one. It ruined me. I could choose lesser more legal ones, that would ruin me slowly and morbidly?

You could choose a valid one. One that is a desire of your soul, not a desire of your body.
Quote:

ocalhoun wrote:

It is NOT boundless though. It's bound by the fact that -- given the choice between raw pleasure and pursuit of one's reason to live -- one should choose the reason to live.


It still sounds a lot like "Chose a reason to die" to me.

You haven't found anything worth living for until you've found something worth dying for.
To look at it another way... Imagine yourself an old man on your deathbed. You've devoted your entire life to one thing.
Are you satisfied with this?
If the answer is yes, then you've identified your reason to live. If not, keep trying to find it.
Quote:
But obviously, I'm reading 'what I can get away with' at this point, as any human being reading a rule or authoritative guideline would. Like for example, I didn't covet my neighbor's wife which is a shame because I had to pay the fare. She lives blocks away.

Once again, I am dumbfounded...
What are you trying to say here?
I can't figure out how this part is connected with the rest of what you typed, nor can I make sense of it on its own...
Quote:
Also this choosing the reason to live still stays firmly within "Me-ism" and I doubt this is the best directive for human kind as a whole. We already have that. It's called capitalism, and although it has been proven to work (for those with a silver spoon in their mouths) it is ugly as hell and I could never imagine it being taken seriously as a moralistic religion.

Well, pardon me for making a religion that doesn't promote socialism.
Quote:

ocalhoun wrote:

And that's what a person's reason to live is all about! It's the only thing that can bring lasting happiness. (And legitimate purpose)


But Ocalhounism doesn't make a lot of time for other people's needs and emergencies. It even prescribes personal pleasure over social conscience.

You've got to have priorities.
Helping people is good, just like enjoying the pleasures that come your way is good. (And in fact, helping people usually is pleasurable.)
But, it takes a lower priority to self-development.
Quote:

Short arms and deep pockets? You could peel an orange in your pocket with a boxing glove on. Quit being so tight-fisted and throw a couple of old shirts in the Unicef bag like everyone else.

I've never heard these metaphors before... and I think I only partially understand them.
Quote:
Its your duty as a creator of a religion to use your people influence to encourage providing sustenance for the well being of others.

I'll just stick to providing purpose for others, and leave them to find their own sustenance, thanks though. (At least as a religion. I may help personally, but that is separate.)
Quote:
And although I'm not a very charitable person myself, as a human, I'd have a hard time following a religion that wasn't interested in humanitarianism.

It doesn't ban humanitarianism (even encourages it under the 'live harmoniously' part) - it just doesn't make it a major tenant.
My goal is to answer questions, not to make the world an easier place to live.
Quote:

So was L Ron Hubbard. Mark Chapman shot John Lennon because of something he misinterpreted from The Catcher In The Rye. A bunch of kids here killed themselves because they played Judas Priest records backwards. I've lost count of the amount people burned alive for translating the Bible. I don't know which verse in the Qur'an that jihad advises killing infidels. Your words, should they be brilliant, no longer belong to you. You can take exception to that and say it's not your fault. Agreed, however, acknowledge the responsibility of forming a religion. And acknowledge that your following will be a bit bigger (depending on its quality) than you imagine. And with greater size comes greater capacity for error.

Hopefully this religion would produce less of those horrible things than the ones that would otherwise fill the gap.
At any rate, I'm sure it wouldn't produce more, so I'm pretty sure it can't hurt anything.
Quote:
You say you don't want any governing body, priests, authority or state etc ("Pushy" people) but who's going to be around to say "Eh.. no!" when your follower will more than definitely abscond?

The follower will abscond if he wants to abscond.
Perhaps more importantly, there would be no priests telling them to abscond.
Cancers are inevitable, but with a decentralized structure, perhaps they wouldn't grow.
Quote:
You need these spiritual police I'm afraid.

This I doubt. The existence of 'Symphonism police' would violate commandment #2, anyway.
Quote:

That proverbs quote wasn't about monetary gain. Here in lies the problem. "Rich" doesn't equal "capital wealth". Often quite the opposite. "The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least" etc etc. Should fit in with your Symphonism somewhere along the lines?

In that case, better to have enjoyed a full life, guided by purpose, than to have not.
Quote:

I think the temporary pursuit of everyone following their hedonistic lifetime could be really damaging really quickly and if it didn't sour the more insightful of your followers against you immediately, it would kill the rest who arguably don't have enough bread upstairs to know better. The religion of "Me" is worrying. I see it everyday and I find it frightening but I've never considered it a religion, no matter how religiously some people adhere to it.

And you're quite obsessed about the 'hedonistic' properties of it, even though that was barely mentioned originally.
It's not about self-indulgence. It's about self-improvement.
Quote:

It's warning against greed and entitlement. It's prescribing earning the right to comfort/luxury so that you may appreciate what you've earned. "Hey, that meal was delicious! You are a culinary genius. I love a man who can cook". Thanks (I got it out of a packet) - is the same welcome compliment you would have received had you made it from scratch. And taking pleasure from that without conscience (as below) is not good.

Yep, and I disagree.
I say, it doesn't matter how you acquired what you have. Enjoy it.
Quote:

Because you're sat there on Christmas day stuffing your face with nochos and tipping back a few and dipping your hand in the candy and laughing and joking and some starving Africans come on the TV with Bob Geldof or somebody (I'm not saying you, but anyone) and you don't feel a little... something's amiss? That's the conscience asking your pleasure (just for a second) if its having a really great time or not (hopefully!).

So, if you think they need help, help them.
Drinking and eating nachos isn't the only form of pleasure - and it certainly isn't the most fulfilling.
Giving help to those who need is also a great pleasure. (And ignoring that need can be a form of suffering.)
Quote:

Anyone can read about anything. That doesn't make him knowledgeable about it. It makes him researched about it. This is why the guy who has worked at 10 major advertising agencies will get the job ahead of the kid straight out of college with good grades in it. Doing is knowing. Alternatively, a man can know everything there is to know, but if it doesn't build or shape his character for the better, what's he learned? We have the internet for unbiased neutral impersonal knowledge and it doesn't make a man smart because he can copy and paste it, now does it? Anyone can do that. And it would require a distinct lack of character to do only that trying trick people into believing you have both attributes. Sometimes "I don't know why, I am sorry but I will check" exhibits both knowledge and character. In the truest more honest way.

Yes, I'm quite aware that it's possible to have knowledge without character, and that it's possible to have character without knowledge. I also agree that the two are much more effective when paired.
I still don't understand why it should be a 'deadly sin' to have one without the other though.
Quote:

ocalhoun wrote:

Business without morality
(Okay, yes, it's bad when businesses act immorally. Not really relevant to anything here though.)


Well it relevant...

As much as you may try to steer me towards such an outcome, Symphonism is not a business, nor should it ever be.
Quote:

I believe the time he wrote that he was concerned about Frankenstein science (cloning, "playing god" etc) but its no less relevant to the digital age if you choose to view everyone hooked into channel zero or the internet matrix. Not ironic that I should be typing this to you on here at all, it's merely just appropriate. He's probably also suggesting that great scientists need faith and hope and love and spirituality to achieve their goals as most other people do. "It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." - Einstein crediting his humanity over the humanity of lesser scientists. Also, from an entirely mechanical, robotic, scientific point of view, we still need to make antibiotics and medicines to agree with the human body. Also, scientists, like regular flesh and blood organic humans, are just flesh and blood organic humans. Knowing gandhi, he was more likely suggesting that "Your nuclear bomb was how smart exactly?"

Okay... Scientists: Consider what it is you're doing.
What does that have to do with Symphonism though?
Quote:

It requires sacrifice of humility in following a personal life meaning to worship thyself at the cost of life having any meaning at this point.

Again, you're going way too far with this 'it's all about me' thing.
Even the process of self-improvement is added because it will lead to universe-improvement.
Quote:
It's an extremely unassailable and therefore dangerous teaching.

So, all teachings should be safely assailable?
Quote:

ocalhoun wrote:

I would also make the copyright public-domain, so anybody who wanted to could print it.
(And I also intend to make an exact copy of the book available online for free.)


Nooooooo! This is not coming from a philosophical, theoretical or religion point of view. It's coming from the "Knowledge/Character" one. I roughly work this line of things and this is something that professionally, you never ever want to do. It's not about not making a profit selflessly. It's about being savvy. It's about you waking up one day and suddenly owing a billion dollars to Fox News Corps. If you write something of value, make it yours legally by all means necessary. Proceeds to charity, or whatever. Just don't hang yourself from the nice-guy noose or let others string you up by it either.

I'm not hanging myself.
I've already told you, I don't want any profits from it. Making it available to others is benefit enough for me.
(Even if the potential profits were millions of dollars, I could not ethically keep, or even pursue, any of it.)
If I couldn't avoid profits, I would donate them to a charity that promoted diversity, creativity, and individuality.
Quote:

ocalhoun wrote:

Why is that not realistic? I see no need to defend ideas.

I'm saying you may need to defend those ideas to its most ardent supporters, which have, to quote Kipling, been "Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools". Your biggest liability, from what I see in all major religions is not those who oppose you. It's those who believe they are acting as your agent.

And any attempt to fix this problem would only make it worse.
People will always distort things, but at least this way, they won't easily be able to distort things for others.
Quote:

ocalhoun wrote:

As for who writes a book they don't care about, I do.


Okay, this one goes on the "reincarnation" pile. I'm pretty sure.

And what, pray tell, is the 'reincarnation pile' for?
Things that should be hidden? Things that should be tossed?
Quote:

Because you not caring is the same paradox as you really caring. Which is another paradox because if you want your religion to be big it'll be harmful (in some respects) and if you want it to be really big, it'll be even more harmful (in a lot more respects) and the supreme paradox is; the better your religion is, the worse it shall become. Like your hedonism, perhaps. Only different, in that people will be killing themselves and others in order to protect it's righteousness. If you're not cool with that, just don't make it any good. The final paradox is that if you don't make serious on purpose, it'll achieve cult status like Jedism. You can't win. Just call it a philosophy and you'll never have any blood on your hands.

It's like I'm releasing a bird back into the wild, after healing its injuries.
If it lives and prospers, that's great.
If it gets hit by a truck the next day, that's unfortunate, but it was still necessary to set the bird free.
Quote:

ocalhoun wrote:

If it had money, what would it spend the money on?

What does Symphonism need entire populations for?


Oh, I thought you starting a religion. Sorry.

I think you and I may have different ideas about what a religion is.
I think of a religion as a collection of ideas and beliefs.
You seem to think of a religion as a corporation, or a group of people, at best.
Quote:

ocalhoun wrote:

And I think that Symphonism is (potentially) a lot more peaceful than most of the religions we have around now. The world would be better off with it than without it.


Well if it was to replace all the major religions, we wouldn't have a lot of peace. They'd be an uprising from a lot of places not receiving aid from Christians, the muslims would target you for taking away their promised land and the jews would cut off your dinner money. The Buddhists would sue for uploading their doctrines in the public domain and the Hindus would be gunning for you for rebirthing their reincarnation into brain damaged dogs.

I'm pretty sure those things would only happen if you forced it on them, which is prohibited in the commandments.
Quote:
If you really think the world needs a religion that its author 'couldn't really care less about' or 'isn't "105%" sure about', or doesn't care if anyone follows it, or does nothing for others, or bases its value on conceited self appraisal and personal gain, then I'd have to disagree (at this point).

It's an honest religion. One that doesn't proclaim to know things that it doesn't understand.
If people draw benefit from it, that's great. If they can't be bothered with it, that's their loss.
Quote:

No, if I died in a past life then my soul would naturally carry on to another's. Symphoneyism supports that.

Odd, 'phoneyism' is exactly what it seems like you want it to be.
You want it to be absolutely certain of things that are unsure, you want it to be a front for collecting profit, you want it to espouse 'feel good' doctrines that don't logically follow from any of the beginning assertions...
In short... you seem to want to add all kinds of phony attachments to it, just to make it look more like the kind of religion everybody is familiar with.

As for the reincarnation part,
A- Of all the afterlife options, it seems to have the best evidence in support.
B- It meshes well with the other ideas.
So, I believe reincarnation is the most reasonable assumption to be made about the afterlife.
Quote:

but the question of "then what?" still arises. Both physically and metaphysically. Do we just continue eternally being reincarnated in path seekers? I can only beat a video once, then I want to see the cloudy restful mecca of the completion screen. If you answer nothing here, just answer that. This is pretty futile existence, just getting sent back to level one again. I know it has no God but of hourse it dangles no carrots either. What if your reason for life is horses and then you get reincarnated into your horse and your horse into you and both have prior recollection of your former selves? What's your life's purpose then? Other than "Get me out of this thing! It's tripping me out!"

The ultimate purpose, the reason to keep going through it over and over again, is to make the universe a better place. To make it a more beautiful and interesting artwork. To add more complexity (and therefore more intelligence) to the universal pattern.
And while you're at it, you can enjoy the ride.
That's the external purpose you've been missing the whole time.
Dialogist
So the final conclusion is then, that its not a "religion" by any shape, form, delusion or even sense of the word? Why, oh why do I bite?

I lost count of the "you"s in that post but they seemed to override any relevant reply you had to offer. It was mainly just bitter little snipes and jibes aimed at me (the poster) rather than the argument or its content. I normally wouldn't mind but when making a post about attacking the argument rather than the man I personally would avoid doing it myself but what would I know? I live in a padded cell, right?

In closing, because somebody's "reason to live" seems to be finding a big enough pair of knickers to hold all the sand in them...

Religion: "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of life and the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a supernatural agency, or human beings’ relation to that which they regard as holy, sacred, spiritual, or divine. The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or belief system, but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Most religions have organized behaviors, including congregations for prayer, priestly hierarchies, holy places, and/or scriptures."

Sociological classifications of religious movements: "any given religious group, a community can resemble various types of structures, including "churches", "denominations", "sects", "cults", and "institutions"

These are standard beliefs, interpretations, understandings and definitions of what religion is, or what it normally constitutes. Here's another, that's less so, and more in-keeping with 'anyone's wacky take on anything' that seems to be the status quo in this thread...

Crappy introspective museo art-house pseudo-philosophy of self-serving pie-the-sky flight of fancies which whittle "purpose" down to musical metaphor, retarded dogs and apparently horses being more important that the starving millions; which can't even inspire its own thread let alone its own doctrine: Symphoneyism (and I'd be impressed as hell if it got one spam-bot following it on twitter).

Just put the whole thing on the reincarnation pile. Maybe it'll be reborn into something credible. And for the record? These are the books we need to ban. Thanks for wasting my time asking for insights that you were not prepared to entertain in the first place.
Related topics
The downfall of american society
Ausse Minister Brendan Nelson to Tony Blair:
Bush’s Openly Religious Language
islam is...
science vs. religion
More front page news NOT on the front page..
F. Nietzsche
What Punk Rock realy is?
religion issues
A debate of religion, science, and more
Progress and Morality, what's your take?
In how many ways could science meet religion?
Create a religion
Some Cool Frihost Threads
Reply to topic    Frihost Forum Index -> Lifestyle and News -> Philosophy and Religion

FRIHOST HOME | FAQ | TOS | ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.